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Majority of ASD teachers, staff in favor of getting COVID-19 vaccine

78% of workers surveyed said they’d get the COVID-19 vaccine. They may have to wait until January or later
Teachers and staff members in the Anchorage School District may have to wait until January 2021...
Teachers and staff members in the Anchorage School District may have to wait until January 2021 to receive COVID vaccinations(none)
Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 4:29 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage School District recently conducted an employee survey to gauge the interest in staff and teachers on receiving a COVID-19 vaccination once it’s made available to the school district.

“We did survey our staff and nearly 80%, 78%, stated that they do want a vaccine,” ASD Superintendent Deena Bishop said. “So, we have started a priority list that once it becomes available to us we will begin the vaccination of our employees.”

When the vaccine will be available is anyone’s guess at this moment.

“We have no idea when that’s going to be,” ASD Director of Communications and Community Outreach Alan Brown said. “Right now the muni has a limited amount and that will be used mostly on frontline workers.”

ASD will have nearly a dozen nurses in the district getting the vaccine sometime this week. They are currently training with the municipality and state in helping to administer the vaccinations.

“We understand the anticipation,” Brown said. “Right now there is no timeline to when the vaccine will be available. We don’t want any of our employees to worry and we want them to enjoy the holiday break like they normally would. They’re not going to be called in for a vaccination.”

In fact, the vaccine is not mandatory and any ASD employee who wishes to not get the vaccine will not be turned away from their job.

“Absolutely not, no,” Bishop said. “Now the vaccine from the federal drug administration is authorized and not approved. Under authorization, we can’t make it mandatory and won’t make it mandatory for our employees. Of course, it’s authorized under the emergency order but as we move forward and it becomes approved, things might change but that’s how it is right now.”

The Anchorage School District has its sights set on returning students to classrooms starting on Jan. 19. If the vaccine is available to ASD before that time, Bishop indicated that the returning teachers and staff could be the first to receive the vaccine, however, those details are still a work in progress.

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